Hello everyone, this is J here! Close to a year ago, I wrote a 3-part series exploring the different styles within the sport of boxing and how they are typically distinguished and defined by. ( If you have no idea what I am talking about or too lazy to scroll all the way down to find the article, the link is here https://www.thejungle.asia/post/unboxing-boxing-a-systematic-approach-into-boxing-its-origin-part-2). Many have feedbacked that the post was informative and allowed them to better understand the sport of boxing and the different styles that comes with it and with that, I have been tasked to write another article, this time covering the different style in Muay Thai which is the discipline Jungle specializes in.
Muay Thai is considered one of the most effective stand-up striking arts in the world. It is also an exciting combat sport that has built a global fanbase. On the surface, Muay Thai appears to be just a brutal clash of fists and kicks but if you dive deeper, you will uncover many layers of technicalities represented by the Muay Thai styles with each style is defined by the choice of weapon(s) or strategy. Some styles are known to be more aggressive while some are defensive and calculated. Today, we will be looking into 5 of the most common styles within Muay Thai and the fighters often associated with it.
Muay Femur ( Technician)
A Muay Femur is a technical fighter who possesses a high fight IQ. They are well-versed in all the techniques and weapons of Muay Thai. Muay Femurs rely on a multitude of techniques and can even alternate between different styles depending on the opponent. They typically excel in movement, defense and win fights by outscoring the opponent. When the opportunity arises, they are just as quick swooping in to finish the fight. A Muay Femur takes a calculated approach to fighting, picks his shots carefully and he never puts himself in danger just to land. Generally speaking, Muay Femur practitioners do well against opponents who like to rush forward into the fray. Notable “Muay Femur”
Muay Mat (Puncher)
The Muay Mat is an aggressive and explosive style known for heavy punches and plenty of knockouts. This is a relentless forward-moving style with hard punches and low kicks to boot. They can trade blow for blow as many Muay Mat come with a strong chin to back them up. The strategy is simple: go for the knockout. They don’t always win via judges’ decision but they will do whatever it takes to finish the fight. Muay Mud fighters are well known for possessing great knockout power in their fists and for their very aggressive attitude, especially in the early rounds of a fight. They come out from the first bell with all guns firing and generally look for an early KO. Spectacular if they get it, a true battle if the fight goes the distance! Notable “ Muay Mat”
Muay Dta ( Kicker)
Kicking in the game of Muay Thai is one of the most brutal weapons. Not only are the shins unpadded, but the kick can come from anywhere and not limited to the thigh, ribcage, neck and head. Kickers can attack from any range, short, medium or long with devastating effect. A Muay Tae is a fighter who favors kicks. The roundhouse kick is one of the most devastating weapons in the Muay Thai arsenal and many fighters have built their fighting style around it. Muay Tae kickers are all about building years of strong foundation through nothing but consistent hard training. They are able to generate immense kicking power through solid form, great balance and steel-like shins. Muay dtae usually do well against punchers because they can hang back on the outside and use their rangier kicks to counter the shorter blows.
Notable “ Muay Dta”
Muay Khao (Knee Fighter)
A Muay Khao is a fighter who relies on knee strikes. Muay Khaos excel in knee techniques which can be delivered in different ranges. Knees can cause considerable damage to the torsos and even end fights. Many Muay Khaos complement their knee-fighting style with superior clinching as it allows them to throw close-range knees to the torso. This style of fighting is very technical and also requires a lot of strength and cardio conditioning. One strategy is to wear down their opponents in extensive clinching and scoring with knees to the body. While some may see the clinch game as boring and uneventful, calling for the referee to break in order to see more striking action, to see a truly exciting knee fighter at work is not only an act of mastery, but also sheer brutality to witness as they tie up their opponents like an octopus, get prime head position for control, using the ring ropes to their advantage and drive punishing knees in from every angle. Notable “ Muay Khao”
Muay Sok ( Elbow Fighter)
Like a good left hook to the chin, the Muay Thai elbow is an extremely effective weapon that can quickly end fights. The elbow is one of the hardest bones of the human body and the sharpest. Thrown with speed and bad intentions, the elbow can slash the human skin, potentially knock out the opponent and cause serious injury. Muay Sok fighters love to get in elbow range and viciously let loose on their opponents, causing major cuts, spectacular stoppages and often huge knockouts. Often counter fighters, Muay Sok fighters wait for opportunities to come knocking, then attack with extreme precision and devastating power. A well placed elbow or two can end a close fight in seconds, and often has! This style is not found too often but if your opponent happens to be Muay Sok, then watch out!
Notable “Muay Sok”
Karuhat Sor Supawan
In conclusion, the single discipline of Muay Thai contains many different styles favoured by different fighters. Over at The Jungle, we do not stick to a single style. Instead, we teach members techniques and skills from all the different styles to enable them to be a better rounded fighter. As such, the gym is a hotbed for many different styles to be practiced! How many different styles have you noticed in the gym?